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Salt intake (Indicator 8)

Published Updated

The indicator describes the following: Age-standardised mean population intake of salt (sodium chloride) per day in grams in persons aged 18+ years.

The indicator describes the following: Age-standardised mean population intake of salt (sodium chloride) per day in grams in persons aged 18+ years.


This indicator is part of Target (4): A 30 per cent reduction in the population’s intake of salt/sodium.

We lack information on the salt (sodium chloride) intake of the population of Norway. Measuring salt intake in diet surveys is an imprecise method. Measuring the excretion of sodium in daily urine is an internationally accepted and recommended method of gauging salt intake.

Very few such studies have previously been conducted in Norway. 

Based on analyses of 24-hour urine collected in 49 participants aged 40-69 years in the Tromsø study, the calculated daily salt intake was 10.4 in men and 7.6in women.

These are conservative estimates as approximately 90 per cent of dietary intake is excreted in the urine. The salt intake is clearly higher than the Norwegian national recommendation of a maximum of 6 grams per day but is comparable with countries such as Finland, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Data source: Tromsø Study

The data source for this indicator is the Tromsø Study. A description follows below.

Description 

In Tromsø 7 (2015-2016), 24-hour urine was collected in a random sample of 493 people aged 40-69 years. The examination of salt intake measured via sodium excretion in daily urine was conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health as a sub-project of the Tromsø Study.

Reference: Meyer HE, Johansson L, Eggen AE, Johansen H, Holvik K. Sodium and potassium intake assessed by spot and 24-hour urine in the population-based Tromsø Study 2015-2016. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 16;11(7).  

Effect measure

Estimated mean salt intake per person per day in grams. NaCl was calculated by multiplying daily sodium excretion by 2.54.

National adaptation to global indicator  

WHO’s definition of the indicator 

Indicator 8. Age-standardised mean population intake of salt (sodium chloride) per day in grams in persons aged 18+ years.  

Norwegian adaptation 

WHO’s global indicator applies to a larger population; all aged 18 years and older. The Norwegian indicator include a slightly narrower age-range, and is not age-standardised 

History

Authors and contacts

Text compiled by the Department of Chronic Diseases and Ageing at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The Tromsø Study at the University of Tromsø provides the basis for the data.  

December 2019: reviewed and updated